There is a generation gap when it comes to dieting — Baby Boomers are more likely to diet than Millennials. More than a quarter of all Boomers are on a diet, while only 12% of Millennials diet, according to The NPD Group.
“Millennials will diet more as they age, but the core dieters in this country are Boomers,” says Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst and author of Eating Patterns in America. “But fewer of us are dieting. Americans are looking for other ways to define health,” says Balzer.
These trends are part of a long-term decline in dieting. Nineteen percent of adults report being on a diet in the last year according to The NPD Group’s National Eating Trends Service which examines top-of-mind dieting and nutrition, as well as actual eating and drinking habits. Dieting peaked in 1991 when nearly 30% of adults reported being on a diet during a typical two-week period. While Americans are dieting less overall, as adults age, they are more likely to be on a diet.
LOOKING FOR HEALTH IN OTHER WAYS
Even though dieting is down, 57% of adults still report that they would like to lose 20 pounds.
“Dieting is not the only way to address your health these days,” says Balzer. “Avoiding foods with harmful substances and adding foods with beneficial ingredients remain an appealing way to deal with our health rather than just dieting,” says Balzer.
Seventy-two percent of adults eat reduced fat foods, nearly 45% of adults eat foods with whole grains on a regular basis and 24% include organic foods and beverages in their diet.
“Dieting is difficult and requires a change in habits. Eating healthy or adding good foods in your diet is much easier,” says Balzer.[Source: "Eating Patterns in America." The NPD Group. 2 Jan. 2014. Web. 9 Jan. 2014.]